Just in time for the release of Andrew Madoff’s book Monday, the Madoff family is back in the headlines with more hair-raising revelations. Coming less than two weeks after the release of his sister-in-law and Mark Madoff’s widow Stephanie Madoff Mack’s book, “The End of Normal,” Andrew’s forthcoming account will be the first inside account from the immediate family of Bernie Madoff.
Little is known about the book, but some details have leaked thanks to Ruth and Andrew Madoff’s recent and forthcoming media appearances. In a taped “60 Minutes” episode that will air Sunday, Andrew Madoff tells CBS how he learned, three years after the fact, that his parents had tried to commit suicide. He described receiving a package from his parents around Christmas with valuable and jewelry inside. Three years later, Andrew said, he asked his mother why she sent the package. “She told me that she and my father planned to kill themselves and they put together that package beforehand,” he told CBS’s Morley Safer.
"I don't know whose idea it was, but we decided to kill ourselves because it was so horrendous what was happening," Ruth Madoff confirmed on the taped episode. "We had terrible phone calls. Hate mail, just beyond anything and I said '...I just can't go on anymore.' "
She said on Christmas Eve, she and her husband took as many Ambien pills as they had and went to sleep, hoping they would never wake up. “We took pills and woke up the next day,” she told Safer. “It was very impulsive and I am glad we woke up.”
Andrew’s book will likely discuss how he learned about his parents’ attempted suicide, along with how Bernie Madoff confessed his crimes to his family, their reaction, and the ensuing stress that ultimately claimed brother Mark Madoff’s life in a suicide last year on the anniversary of his father’s arrest.
Andrew’s book may also be the mystery book, “Untitled,” by Anonymous, that Little, Brown & Company promised earlier this summer. At the time, that book was described as “the inside story of life with one of the most controversial figures of our time,” and the publisher promised a “60 Minutes” appearance timed for its release. And Catherine Hooper, Andrew Madoff’s fiancé, is listed as a co-author. Still, “Untitled” was slated for a Nov. 14 release, and of course, its author is no longer Anonymous, so it’s not clear if this is indeed the mystery book.
Regardless, Andrew Madoff’s book will likely unravel some of the mystery surrounding the Madoff scheme and how the family is handling the aftermath. Stay tuned.
Husna Haq is a Monitor correspondent.